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Issue Date:- 16 June 2008

Dirty dishes is the number 1 cause of housemate hell

AS Big Brother 9 hits our screens, a new survey reveals not washing up is the number 1 cause of arguments in houseshares. 

The survey of 2,000 UK adults is part of a national research project into the UK’s growing house share culture by Endsleigh. Stealing food, having bad personal hygiene, trashing the house, being emotionally unstable, sleeping with another housemate’s ex boyfriend and noisy sex were just some of the other gripes to come from the research, which also reveals that approximately one in four of us has at sometime had to live with a housemate from hell.

The poll also showed that being friendly and honest, with a high level of personal hygiene and emotional stability, are the key things we look for in a new housemate.  1 in 10 men also said that good looks were a key factor, compared to just 3% of women.

The survey has been released as Endsleigh launches a new scientific test to help people make the right decision when it comes to choosing a housemate. Developed by popular Big Brother Psychologist, Geoff Beattie, the online test uses psychometric principles to determine the compatibility of potential housemates and prevent them from being in housemate hell.

Professor Geoff Beattie says:- “As simple as it sounds, we basically like people who are similar to ourselves, and when we have lots in common with someone it’s easier for us to get on with them. Of course, it’s really hard to gauge how alike someone is to you when interviewing them for a houseshare through an email, phone call or quick face-to-face chat. By taking the test, however, you can quickly and easily see just how suited you and your housemate-to-be really are.”

Rhiannon Harris from Endsleigh says:- “With a big increase in the number of people choosing to rent as a solution to the ongoing credit crunch, they are leaving themselves more open than ever to strangers coming into their living space.

Getting along with someone is an important part of house sharing and so it’s vital that renters know as much about a potential housemate as they can before they agree to them moving in.   Gut feel is just not enough, and with plenty of horror stories out there about housemates from hell it’s definitely worth using a bit of science to ensure that you can live happily and harmoniously together.

A quick 10 minute test can save you a lot of hassle and heartache in the future.”

The Endsleigh survey also revealed that 36% of all those questioned make a decision on whether or not to live with someone based on gut feel and less than 10% will ask for references.

Only 1 in 4 changes the locks when a housemate moves out. 

According to the poll, people from Wales top the list of people who make the best housemates, with 95% of those questioned reporting a happy relationship with a Welsh housemate. Londoners were considered to make the worst housemates with 25% of those questioned reporting a bad experience from living with people from the Capital.

Jade Goody was seen as the worst ever Big Brother contestant of all time, followed by Charley Uchea from last year’s show and Shabaz from Big Brother 7. Kerry Katona, Amy Winehouse and Mariah Carey were named as the celebrities people would least like to share a house with.

Cheeky tots invited to go hunting for cheeky bugs!

NURSERIES and playgroups from across the country are being urged to hunt out a cheeky bug to help the fight against meningitis as part of Meningitis UK’s Big Bug Hunt.

The Big Bug Hunt is an exciting new event being launched this week. Designed to appeal to pre-school children's love of bugs - and anything bug related - Cheeky Bug, like the meningitis bug, needs to be found.  Tots will be able to take part in a variety of events and activities tailored to the abilities and interests of pre-school children including a sponsored bug hunt or obstacle course, fancy dress and colouring competition, to have fun while learning about meningitis.

The event can be held at anytime throughout September and October 2008 and by taking part, nursery and pre-school groups will be helping to protect children from meningitis - a disease which particularly affects children under the age of 5.  Money raised from the Big Bug Hunt will go towards Meningitis UK’s Search 4 a Vaccine Campaign and groups will also have the option of keeping 25 per cent for their own organisation.

Kate Rowland, Big Bug Head Co-ordinator, said:- “The Big Bug Hunt is really easy to organise and has been designed specifically to fit around the needs of play groups and nurseries. Not only will it be really fun, but there are also endless opportunities for learning, whether the children are counting bug's legs, painting and colouring or searching and exploring. Or groups can use it as the focal point of a week-long health or bug-related activity.

To give groups a head start on Cheeky Bug, we've put together a free Resource Pack which includes Big Bug stickers for every child, a Cheeky Bug Story sheet, tips on running your event, sponsorship forms, symptoms cards for parents, downloadable images and templates and much more. Cheeky Bug will also be available to visit lucky groups across the country.

We’d like to see as many people join in as possible so if you are part of a nursery or pre-school group, or a parent, grandparent or child minder, why not get your little ones involved. You would be helping to raise vital awareness of the disease plus it’s a great deal of fun! “

To register for the Big Bug Hunt or find out more about the event and Meningitis UK’s work visit

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